Pasta D’ Arte restaurant to expand


The office space in a two-story building at 6305 N. Milwaukee Ave. is being converted into a kitchen and private party room for the neighboring Pasta D’ Arte restaurant, 6311 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Plans call for a hole to be knocked through the abutting walls of the front half of the two buildings, allowing for a larger reception area, a carryout section and a small bar.

“While waiting for carryout, maybe someone wants a glass of wine or espresso,” restaurant owner Mark Giannini said. The main bar in the rear of the restaurant is remaining, he said.

Giannini said that the expansion makes sense given that the area’s commercial corridor is on the “up and up,” with several restaurants opening in recent years.

The kitchen currently is located at the front of the restaurant, but a larger one is being constructed in the former office space, which also will include an 80-seat private dining room that will be used for overflow crowds, Giannini said. Dining room capacity will increase from 70 to about 180 after the project is completed, he said.

The 3,000-square-foot first floor of the building at 6305 N. Milwaukee Ave. was once occupied by mortgage and skin care treatment companies and a dentist. The building’s second-floor apartments are remaining.

Giannini said that when his restaurant opened in 2002, the first year was difficult and that he spent a lot of his time answering inquires about the building’s former occupant, the Shrimp Shop. However, he said that he survived because he listened to his customers and made adjustments.

The restaurant’s cuisine features traditional Italian dishes “with a twist,” Giannini said.

The city Department of Buildings has issued a permit for the project, which is expected to be completed this spring.